"I'm very tickled pink," Attenborough said in a video about the new species' name. "It shows you that that family has been evolving 30 million years ago or wherever you date it, it had wings and today, all the members of the family don't."
The discovery is reported in the journal ZooKeys.
Among the other specimens Heads and lab technician Jared Thomas have found are fungus gnats, mosquitoes, spiders, a few mammal hairs, stingless bees and flowers. And they've only just begun -- so far they've analyzed less than 1 percent of the massive collection. As Thomas said, "We're looking through even the tiniest of pieces. There are tiny insects that could be hidden there, so we don't want to miss anything."
Although they face a daunting task ahead, with buckets more amber to analyze, the team approaches each new piece of amber with a sense of wonder.
"It's like having a little window into an ancient world. You can look through this lens and see a glimpse of life as it was at that time 20 million years ago," said Heads in the video about their research. "This is what we do every day."